|Authors: ||I.K. Toth, P.R.J. Birch, H. Liu, L. Pritchard, S. Humphris, M. Ravensdale, L. Moleleki, C. Robert, P. Hedley, E.M. Gilroy|
Genomics research is changing the way we study all forms of life, and the interaction between plant pathogens and their hosts is benefiting greatly from the genomics revolution.
To have the "genetic blueprint" for a pathogen is of immeasurable value as it lays bare the potential capabilities of that organism and allows comparisons to be made with others.
Although genomics opens up the field of research it also has the potential to target key genes and mechanisms precisely.
In 2004 the first genome of an enterobacterial plant pathogen (Pectobacterium atrosepticum Pba – formerly Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica) was sequenced and several more are now available, including Erwinia amylovora. Based on this genome sequence, microarrays, bioinformatics, comparative genomics and systems biology have all been used to advance our knowledge of the pathogen, together with new discoveries in potential alternative hosts in the environment and comparisons to Pba's human and animal enterobacterial cousins E. coli and Salmonella.
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